These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Programme Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Showing Complaints & Interventions Report for DISPATCHES: THE KILLING ZONE
Channel: Channel 4
Date & time: Sunday 18 May: 9.00pm
Complaint from: 18 viewers
The Killing Zone was a programme about the conduct of Israeli forces in and around southern Gaza. It examined the high rate of Palestinian civilian casualties - including children - and investigated the shootings of British peace campaigner Tom Hurndall and television cameraman James Miller.
Eighteen viewers complained that The Killing Zone was biased against Israel and the Israeli Defence Force. Many suggested the programme did not place the situation in southern Gaza in a broader context, and that this amounted to unfairness. Some viewers complained that this programme was one of a number on Channel 4 that had appeared to adopt a viewpoint sympathetic to the Palestinian side of the conflict.
The Killing Zone was undoubtedly a powerful and disturbing documentary, which raised very serious questions about the conduct of Israeli troops.
Channel 4 insisted that the programme was not intended to address general issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, it presented a sharply focussed picture of how the conflict affected one small area in the south of Gaza. It was neither pro-Palestinian nor anti-Israeli - merely an eyewitness account of particular events. The Israeli justification for its policy in Gaza was clearly explained in commentary, and in interviews with two members of the Israeli Defence Force.
The ITC recognised this programme as a specific piece of 'reportage' that legitimately aimed to explore what life was like in this part of Gaza. The ITC also welcomed an assurance from Channel 4 that other programmes about the Middle East were planned. These would aim to reflect other perspectives and viewpoints.
The Killing Zone was not in breach of the Programme Code.